Thrive is a support group that started two years ago as an inner city outreach to women from the community. Now approximately 50 women, 40 men, and 40 kids come every Friday to Thrive at the Baton Rouge Dream Center.
The men's meeting is made up mostly of homeless men from the surrounding area. They have a support meeting, bible study and they help set up for lunch. The Ladies have a bible study and then break into small groups to talk about life and pray for one another.
The shuttles picks up people between 10:30am and 11:15am, the meeting begins around 11:30pm then a free lunch is served at 12:30pm and most Fridays groceries are given out and the clothing boutique is opened for both men and women to receive free clothing and groceries.
Every Friday some of the addicts, homeless, prostitutes, drug dealers and thief's of the Baton Rouge area, and their children, are getting the word of God, support from others and also getting some of their physical needs met.
I would like to introduce you to some of the beautiful people I get to hang out with every Friday...
This is Ms. Allice Cole (red shirt in the middle). She's talking with a lady in need about her circumstances. Ms. Allice leads the ladies meeting. She is amazing and has such a heart for these women. I don't have a picture of them but Charity and Donna help Allice and I learn so much from them. They are all heros of mine.
This is Pastor Adam Hymel talking to Lorri. Adam and Craig Boutte lead the men's Thrive meeting. He is also the pastor of the HPC Dream Center Winborne campus. His wife Rachel does the older kid class on Fridays and she really is so good at it. Today I saw Adam defuse and uptight lady that wanted A LOT of groceries.He has that gift, gentle yet firm. I thank God for him daily. He's so great for the Dream Center and it's a privilege to serve under him.
I forgot the guy in the red' name, but he's been serving with us for a few weeks now. Next to him is Steve. He serves lunch with Cooking for Christ and then helps sort through the piles of clothing donated to the boutique. Both of these guys are true servants.
This is Greg, he maintains the flow in and out of the clothing boutique! Keeping clothes hungry ladies in line is Greg's gift. He's gentle and kind and a complete blessing.
My unbelievably wonderful husband Dean and Summer working the lunch window. Summer, Lorri and I started volunteering at the Dream Center together almost two years ago when it first started. Summer is so great with the ladies, they love her.
These are a few of the men of Cooking for Christ in the kitchen. There is no lunch without these guys. They are just the best. Always servin' it up Jesus Style!
See this girl in the white shirt and red hat? Her name is Keedy and she has come twice now to Thrive with her Aunt. She helps me with the kids and let me tell you, she is a total blessing! She jumps in there and just starts doing what needs to be done and I so appreciate that.
This is Earianna, she drew this beautiful picture today in class. With her is Tootie-boy. Both are amazingly sweet and wonderful.
This of course is Lorri, with Israle. Lorri is serving chick extrordinair, she does everything, ASAP, Thrive, Block parties, you name it, she does it. She is with Steven (in the blue) and Peter (in the back), Nathanial is to the right.
Peter is usually drunk, he's homeless but he always wants to pray, and he prays very well.
Nathanial is mentally impared, lives with Gerome, his brother, uncle, friend, not sure which story is true but Nathanial is so sweet! He has been a regular for a year now and God has done some truly amazing things in his life. He was homeless, was helped by the Dream Center to get an apartment, then homeless again and now lives at the Alamo.
Steven lives at a shelter. He first encountered HPC at Homeless Breakfast a couple weeks ago. He got a free breakfast on Thursday, came to Thrive on Friday, attended church on Sunday, gave his heart to Christ and now for the last couple weeks volunteers at the Dream Center helping out with whatever they need just because he appreciates what the Dream Center has meant to his life.
This is Angela and her girls Nana and Angel. A few weeks back on her way to work she saw Susan and her crew serving Breakfast in a cup outside of the Belmont on Airline Hwy. She stopped, got some free breakfast and found out about Thrive. She told me today that she will come to church Sunday.
There are so many more that I don't have pictures of. Genie, Barbara, Gerry, Kayla, Debbie, April they all are so committed to seeing this community reached for Jesus. Nadia, Tori, John Austin, Evangeline and Alex, help so much with the kids, I couldn't do it without them and neither could Rachel, they are all so great.
Day's like today, I just weep with appreciation for my life. God has so blessed me. I love working with and working for these great people.
This is what I was born to do. This IS Church to me and I love it!!